WEEK ONE, DAY FOUR, COMMON ENGLISH BIBLE COMPANION
THEME: READ THE BIBLE
DAY FOUR TITLE: GET THE MOST OUT OF BIBLE STUDY
SCRIPTURE: 2 KINGS 22:1 – 23:25
SCRIPTURE SNIPPET: …”My anger burns against this place, never to be quenched, because they’ve deserted me and burned incense to other gods, angering me by everything they have done.”…
THOUGHTS: Josiah, at a young age, received a very high office – king! He was able, even at a young age to do good in the eyes of the Lord. At some point in his reign as he was already about finding favor in God’s eyes – “He did what was right in the Lord’s eyes, and walked in the ways of his ancestor David…not deviating from it even a bit to the right or left.” For many years Josiah dotted every “i” and crossed every “t”. He was honorable and righteous – according to what he knew from his ancestors (tradition) … all the way to David. Then, one day, a scroll was found that spelled out what God wanted in relationship with his people. It included celebrations and faithfulness. It excluded idols and pagan worship. It defined God as the one and only. What Josiah saw in his current kingdom was everything but what God wanted. Instead Josiah found numerous idols and their worship sites – things that had been desecrated to other gods. He was very concerned that God must be furious with the whole of his kingdom for falling so far away from worshipping the one true God.
And so, Josiah cleaned house. He tore through his kingdom, destroying everything in sight that did not line up with what the scroll (God’s Word) had said – ridding his kingdom of everything that did not fit with the Word of God. Not only did he burn idols and all things pertaining to idols – he scattered the ashes of these burned things in graveyards – burying them once and for all. Making the statement that this is not just erased, it is dead and buried – it cannot become sacred in any way – not one ash can be identified as belonging to any idols – totally obliterated!
I think of the little gods in my life that might need the same kind of treatment. What things do I rely upon that become idols in my life rather than depending on every word that comes from God. When do I seek comfort from the wrong things prolonging and multiplying the agony I’m in rather than turning directly to the Source of everything that I am. When do I fail to worship God, celebrating His mighty and wondrous deeds in my life but instead pat myself on the back for being worthy of such favor. There is a lot of pretense in this life trying to be holy rather than welcoming the Holy. As we face each challenge that comes across our path in light of who God is and what God is able to do – rather than who we are and what we are able to do, then we welcome the Holy. Then, when blessings come our way, we are able to praise the Holy and celebrate God’s goodness. We know from Whom all blessings flow.
Destruction was on its way with the kingdom of Josiah’s day. They had strayed from their true and Holy God, they had abandoned and forgotten the very first Commandment – they were ripe for destruction – a destruction that they had brought upon themselves by allowing themselves to stray, following others rather than following God. We do that, we stray -especaially when times are good and easy. We get comfortable then and feel deserving and we get off track. But then we hear from the ‘scroll’ – God’s word. Are we willing to recognize our sinfulness and clean house. Are we willing to put aside all those things that destract us and instead, only put on God. How do we begin such a task of cleaning house within ourselves. Prayer is the starting point, allowing God to show us those things we needlessly and falsely rely upon when our world is threatened, when things are not going our way.
As we clean house, we are restored to a right relationship with God. Josiah, after cleaning up the sins of the past, celebrated the Passover with the people of his Kingdom – remembering the saving acts of God protecting them from the death angel in Egypt. They had not recognized Passover in many years – and now it was fresh as they welcomed back into their midst the One True God. Josiah had been a contemporary Moses in his time – saving the people through his obedience of God’s Word, and putting off the destruction that was headed their way. Lord help us to hear your Word spoken into our lives, speaking truths and helping us rid ourselves of any idols of any kind that distract us from welcoming your Holiness in our living. Not for the sake of “being” Holy, but for the building up of your Kingdom “on earth as it is in Heaven.” Amen.
DIP: Are we willing to recognize our sinfulness and clean house. Are we willing to put aside all those things that destract us and instead, only put on God.